Friday, October 31, 2008

Oh What Fun!

Through the Loops Mystery Sock Kal was the first knit-along that I've ever participated in. And it was SO much fun. I'm rather saddened that it's already over. The past 4 weeks have just flown over and what's been wonderful about it is getting online and seeing everyone else's socks. The yarns people used were just so pretty, the colors awesome! I love the cabled pattern on the socks, but I chose to do the plain pair incase I got overwhelmed and a little confused (which can often happen for me when I'm reading a new pattern!). So, here are my finished socks. . . .

Yarn: The Natural Dye Studio Merino/Tencel 4 Ply/Sock. I think the colorway is Mirage.
Needles : US size 2, dpn's

It's really hard trying to get good photos of your feet! I asked my hubby to take a couple of pictures last night, but I took a couple more today in the sunlight. When I first started knitting these socks I thought there were going to be a little too tight, but as I knit then tried them on I realized there is quite a lot of 'give' when you pull them over your feet. In hindsight I think I'd like them to be a little snugger. I found when I knit my Monkey socks that they seemed a little loose too. So next time I knit socks I am going to go down a needles size and see if that helps the fit.

Have a great weekend everyone - and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Malabrigo. . . and a new toy!

Thanks to my 'new toy' (that my m-i-l bought for my birthday) I wound my Malabrigo in to a lovely yarn cake today. It's better than trying to hand wind but I would still like to get a swift one of these days too (hopefully for Christmas!) to make it even easier.

Ahhhhh, Malabrigo! Doesn't it look lovely? I can't tell you how many times I've picked this skein up and just squished and squooshed it between my fingers. That was before it was wound in to a cake.

That's the main reason I wanted a winder, so I can bring the skeins home from the yarn store 'as is' and leave them that way until I want to use them. I like seeing the twisted skein in my stash and only want the 'yarn cake' when I'm ready to start a project. Is that how it is for most knitters I wonder?

I think I've decided to make 'THIS' with my one skein, and yes it will be for ME. It's the Celtic Cable Neckwarmer (Rav link HERE). I'd also like to make some 'Evangelines' for me too that I think would match well with the cables, but I would imagine I need to order another skein of the same color yarn.

How's everyone doing on their TLL KAL Socks? This last clue has been the longest so far and I'm still trying to get the second sock finished, ready for clue #5. I think I should be finished in time.... but only just!

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Photo Shoot With Elliott!

I finished Elliott last night. He turned out pretty nice, but the only thing I will need to change next time is his mouth, it's not really long enough in the snout to get your thumb in to! I did go out and buy some glass buttons for his eyes but when I thought about it, this one will probably be for one of the toddlers, so I thought it safer if I just stitched the eyes on (we don't want a choking hazard!) So, here he is all done

It's a beautiful sunny day today, bright blue skies and a high of 79! Elliott suggested it would be nice to go outside and photograph him in his 'natural environment' :-) So let's go. . . .

"see me slither"! (for some reason I keep thinking Elliott is a snake!)
"oooh get a close-up of me, your readers will love it!"

"one final 'framed' shot - yes lovely!"

"now, what is that strange creature walking out there? What? He lives here?"

Q: What's more ferocious than a dragon?
A: A 'Boo Boo Kitty'!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I have in my possession. . . . .

. . . finally, a yummy - scrumptious - squishy skein of Malabrigo :-) When I found out my LYS didn't stock Malabrigo, I found myself wanting it all the more. I just HAD to have some! Isn't Ravelry great? There were lots of lovely ladies on there that had some in their stash and were willing to trade or sell. As I have nothing worth trading (imho) I simply bought a skein, and it arrived yesterday. And it is as soft as everyone says it is. Hmmm? What now shall I knit with it, and more importantly who shall I knit it for? Would it be selfish to say "me"?

Also in my possession are two great holiday magazines. . .

I couldn't wait to get my hands on the IK Holiday Gifts mag after seeing it on someone's blog last week, but when I went to the book store it wasn't on the shelf yet. I did find the Vogue Knitting mag there so I got that instead. And I had a nice surprise the next day when I was in my grocery store.... lo and behold, there was the IK mag sitting on their shelves :-)

This was the reason I wanted the IK mag (and what I'd seen on the other blog). . . . I love the style of these slippers and so want to knit them (again for me!)

Then I saw this, and fell in love with it (reminds me of that lovely big afghan Leslie knit last year). I would love to knit this and snuggle up with Kristen on the sofa over the holidays (perhaps not this year, but I can dream).

Love these too. . . .

and these. . . .

Love everything about this page (this is from the Vogue mag) . . . .

Oh, and recognize the gift tags below (bottom right of the picture)?

Congratulations Jill :-) And not only in Vogue, but here's the Top 10 Picks from IK holiday mag too. . . .

I would think these two features are going to keep you rather busy over the next few months Jill ;-)

Sorry for the photo-intense post, but it is fun to share the things you love ;-)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

While we're waiting. . . . .

. . . for clue #4, I thought I'd post a couple of photos of what I'm working on in between Wednesdays! Of course I was a little disappointed not to see the next clue up for the KAL socks this morning, but it won't be long now. I'm so looking forward to working on them more, and I can't wait to wear them either.

In the mean time I cast on for another pair of wrist warmers with Noro Cash Iroha. As I mentioned in my last post, these will be a Christmas gift for Kristen's piano teacher.

I actually took these along to Kristen's lesson yesterday. Jennifer is a private teacher and does the lessons from her home. In the beginning when Kristen was a little shy, she kindly let me sit on her sofa while Kristen took her lesson. It's only for half an hour and so I sit there quietly and knit. Jennifer has never asked me what I'm working on or asked about knitting in general for that matter, so I knew it was safe to take these with me. I'm nearly finished the first one in this lovely burnished orangey/red color.

Most of the gifts I'm trying to knit this year are for my nephew and niece's small children. You've seen the 4 bunnies I knit recently - 2 are for my niece's little girls and the blue one is for a new little baby due in December (the 4th I will send to a friend's little girl). I have 4 other little boys to knit for, but I think I've had my fill of bunnies for now, so I surfed around Ravelry for some inspiration for 'boy' stuff. I did think of the 'half-pipe' hat by Debbie Stoller, and I especially love THESE! I think this would be nice for the 7 yr old. And then I came across this . . . .

this is Elliott the Dragon (ravelry link HERE) He's featured in Interweave Knits, Holiday 2007 magazine, which I just so happen to have :-) And as you can see I had yarn in my stash that were the perfect colors. Albeit dk yarn, but it still seems to be turning out well. I just have to knit the mouth today then see if I can find some buttons for eyes. I will probably make about 3 of these in different colors for the 3 other little boys. Of course what I love best about them is they are super quick to knit. At this rate I'll be finished all my gift knitting in the next two weeks and can get back to finishing some of the wips I have (like Spook, and the Rowan cabled cardigan I started waaaaaaaaay back when!).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another Gift Off the Needles!

This is a super fast knit - The Birthday Cowl! Just 2 rows to the pattern and I did this with one skein of Classic Elite Angora (Lush) that I bought the other day. I can't say who the recipient is (they might be reading this!) but I do hope they like it. It's super soft and having tried it on to take these pictures I know for sure it will be super warm and cozy too :-)
If you aren't a member of Ravelry, you can find the 'free' pattern HERE. I'm loving these little quick knits and I've already cast on with the Noro for more lovely wrist warmers. I CAN tell you who they will be gifted to, because I know she doesn't read this blog (she's not even aware it exists!), they will be for Kristen's piano teacher for Christmas.

Thank you all for your sweet birthday wishes, I had a lovely day on Saturday. My favorite part was having a candle lit dinner out on the balcony with my hubby. It felt like we were in our very own private restaurant :-)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Little Treats!

I joined a new gym a couple of weeks ago and I've been doing really well at finding the time to go along and workout. Actually it's pretty easy right now because I signed up for a personal trainer so I have set appointments to go to :-) I worked out with the PT yesterday and today was my 'homework' day and I had to go in and do 45 minutes cardio on the treadmill, keeping my heart rate up to a certain level. Why am I telling you all this ? Well the nice thing about the gym is that it's about a 3 minute drive from my LYS ;-) and you guessed it, that's right where I headed after I'd finished my workout!

I thought I deserved a little treat after 2 weeks of constant keep-fit, well that, and the fact it's my 45th birthday tomorrow!!! I wanted to buy some yummy skeins (read "not acrylic") to make some small gifts with. In the photo above you can see another skein of Noro 'Cash Iroha' (front right), color no. is 22, but I wish it would give the yarn a name. I think it's so much nicer if they add a name to the color.

To the left of that is Berroco Foliage. This is 53% wool and 47% acrylic! But it was in the 50% basket so for $3.50 I would expect a little acrylic, and it's pretty soft so I was thinking it would make a nice neck warmer/cowl.

Behind the Berroco is a skein of Classic Elite 'Lush' (50%wool/50%angora). This feels lovely and again I have in mind a nice neck warmer, just not sure what pattern I'll chose yet. And the last skein to the right of the Lush is Rio De La Plata, hand spun-kettle dyed 100% wool. . . and this was in the 50% basket too :-) It's got some nice creams and green colors in it with a very soft eggplant color and dark grey (at least that's how I'd describe it.

So now I'm off to search Ravelry (and browse my knitting books) for some one skein projects. Have a great Friday!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mystery Socks!

I love how quickly these socks are knitting up. Clue #3 came out yesterday (or the night before depending on where you are in the world!) and I managed to finish both heals yesterday. What makes this all the more fun is knowing I am knitting along with friends (who I haven't even met, but we share a common bond) and I love seeing the photos of other socks on the Ravelry group.

What I don't like is trying to take clear close up pictures of my progress! Amanda is helping me try to figure out how to use my camera. I've mislaid the booklet that came with it and I've never really played around with it. I think a lot of it has to do with good lighting too which I never seem to have.
These pictures might look ok, but honestly these 3 were the only clear shots I got out of about 50!!! I just have to keep practicing I guess.

But any way, I'm up to date with the KAL so it's now back to some Christmas knitting - must I really? I'd much rather knit more socks!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

So yummylicious we made them twice!

I love when Leslie posts a cookie of the week (and I bet I'm not the only one) but I have to admit I don't usually get the chance to try and make them myself. That wasn't the case with 'these' cookies though. Leslie posted the recipe for Pumpkin Drop Cookies a couple of weeks ago and I just so happened to have opened a can of pumpkin the day before to try out a new oatmeal recipe for breakfast. So I went ahead and baked her cookies. Some I put pecans in, and some I left plain (my daughter doesn't like nuts!). I was a little concerned when they came out of the oven because they seemed more 'cake like' than cookie, but I asked Leslie about this and she reassured me that that is how they are. My daughter loved them and for some unknown reason wanted to call them 'Pumpkin Daisies' :-) She would ask for a pumpkin daisy every time she came home from school (and again usually before bedtime) until all the daisies had gone. My husband ate the ones with the nuts. I had one myself but was trying to eat healthy that week so I didn't over indulge.

Well that was a few weeks ago. . . . . yesterday my daughter asked if I'd make the 'pumpkin daisies' again for her.

As you can see I did just that, but this time instead of nuts we tried adding chocolate chips (my daughter's idea). And OH MY! Can I just say these just melt in your mouth and are so yummyilicous. . . . I just can't seem to stop eating them this time. Thank you Leslie for sharing such delicious recipes with us all :-)

And while we're on the subject of 'yummylicious' (I'm really liking that word, can you tell) I went to my LYS the other day and picked up a skein of Noro-Cash Iroha. I wanted to buy some Malabrigo and knit a nice cowl. I've heard it's really super soft, but guess what? I got to my LYS and they don't sell it!!!! I've never knitted with Noro before so I thought I'd buy a skein and try it. And here's my finished knit.... Hand/Wrist Warmers from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

I chose a beautiful 'fall' color, but I will definitely be getting some other colors and making more of these. Such a quick and easy pattern (I rather like that you don't have to knit the thumbs). I asked Kristen to try these on so I could get a better shot than on my own hand. . . .

they seem to fit her pretty well, but stretch nicely for a warm snug fit on my hands too. I love these - I hope the recipient they're gifted to will too.

Hope you're all enjoying your Sunday :-)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Mystery KAL

As I said in my last post, this is the first time I've ever done a KAL, and the fact that it's a mystery KAL is all the more exciting. Was everyone else on tenter hooks last night waiting for the next clue? I saw on the Ravelry group that the clue would be posted at midnight ET! Lucky west coast folk would get that at 9pm, but that would be 11pm for me and with having to get up at 6am for school during the week, I just couldn't stay up that long. Of course I checked the website first thing this morning and printed off the next clue.

I prefer to knit my socks with dpn's but I only have one pair of #2's. So that I could do both socks together I transferred the first cuff to some other size needles and cast on for the second cuff. Now I've started on the second cuff and once I've done the 12 repeats I'll transfer the needles again. It's a little awkward doing it this way but not too much so. The alternative being to run out and buy another set of #2's (if my LYS even has them) which I just don't feel like.

So, who else is in on the KAL? I know Amanda is, and Leslie said she would be joining. I'll be checking my bloglines for any updates to see if you have posted about them. This is fun stuff :-)

oooh and would you look at that.... I just went to Leslie's blog to get her url and lo and behold, I see a mystery sock :-) Lovely color Leslie!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Finally Fini!

I finally finished my Chicabean Scarf a couple of weeks ago, it's just took me this long to get around to blocking it and then taking pics, before it's packed and shipped to a very special friend!

I really enjoyed knitting this, and my thanks again to Bobbi for sharing her lovely pattern (one of these days I'll make the matching hat too!). This is a super soft yarn from Dark Horse Yarns (50% nylon, 50% acrylic), so it's not itchy like I find most pure wools. It took two skeins on size US7 needles. I hope my friend likes it.

Here's a little closer shot of the cabled pattern . . .

It might be the wrong time of year to post about 'paying it forward'! I'm thinking if no one wants to join in (I know a lot of you have already done this on other blogs) I may just donate 3 hand made gifts to good causes this holiday season. There are a lot of charities needing hats, mittens and socks this time of year, and those are things I love to knit. I'll leave the offer open for a few more days on my blog, but if no one wants to participate that's ok. I totally understand, but I'd still like to do my part and 'pif' it some way or another :-)

Are you missing my bunnies yet? Ha ha, it feels strange not having a new bunny to show this week, but I've been tempted by something completely different.... Leslie posted about THIS on her blog today. I couldn't help myself and I had to join in. I've never done a KAL before and it's been a while since I knit myself a pair of socks, so among the many gift knits I'm working on I'm going to do something for me too (after all this is my birthday month and I plan on spoiling myself every chance I get: it's the big 4-5 this year!). I have the most yummy yarn to do it with. . . remember THIS? It was the yarn I won from Amanda's blog, and here is a picture again just to show you -

I'm using the blue yarn which is a lovely soft merino tencel sock yarn. I've cast on and knit 4 rounds this morning, got a few more to go, so that's where I'm headed now ;-) Have a great day!